Hypertrophy of the whole heart or either of the ventricles constitutes an adaptive response to an overload by the myocytes, the connective tissue, and vascular elements (Anversa et al. 1983). Hypertrophy may also be a response to metabolic factors such as iron-copper deficiency (Lin et al. 1977) or elevated thyroxine levels (Page and McCallister 1973 b). Genetic factors may also be important, as in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in man (Maron and Ferrans 1978), the spontaneously hypertensive rat (Tomanek et al. 1979), and biventricular hypertrophy in normotensive rats (Pfeffer et al. 1979).
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